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  1. #1
    Senior Member bbaker22's Avatar
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    2005 Dahon Speed P8 first impressions

    Just received my new Speed P8 yesterday. Upon arrrival, I eagerly unpacked the bike, unfolded it, and put on the "other" pedal (delivered in the instruction box). First thing I noticed is the right brake lever was bent. I gently straightened the lever. Second thing I noticed during the maiden voyage down the driveway was the totally bent derailleur hanger. Took a look at the box and it looks like the one side took quite a beating during shipment (thanks UPS!) and was probably the cause of the damage.

    I brought the bike back inside and tweaked the hanger 'til it was eyeball straight. Good enough for now, but I'll need to borrow my friend's alignment guage to get it just right. Tested the shifting inside, tweaked the derailleur limit screws and went for a short driveway spin. Worked well enough. Lubed the chain, checked brakes, headset, adjusted seat, bars, etc.

    After 20 miles of dirt and paved road riding, here are my ride impressions...

    I'm pleasantly surprised by the ride quality. The Schwalbe Big Apple tires really seem to soak up the bumps and the weird seat/seatpost combo provides an easy adjustment and a nice cushioned ride. The rider position is definitely different than my other bikes, but not as strange as I had imagined it would be. The light action of the SRAM shifting surprised me. I have other SRAM setups, but all linked to Shimano derailleurs. I like the like the feel of the SRAM/SRAM combo.

    The bike is quite stable at speed and the gear ratios work pretty well for the mixed riding of the Colorado Front Range. The bike feels a bit strange and twitchy during stand up climbing, but I think I'll get used to it.

    The Biologic grips are quite comfy. Braking is fine, although I need to adjust the lever reach a bit.

    My first ride was with the flat pedals. I rarely use flat pedals and was unimpressed. They were quite slippery, but the folding mech is pretty neat. I swapped to my eggbeaters for the second ride and felt more comfortable.

    There is a bit more gear noise than I'm used to. It may be associated with the slightly misaligned hanger, but some of it comes from chain rub on the chainring guard when in the top 2 gears.

    Folding and unfolding is a cinch. I have a 29" Samsonite suitcase that I plan to use for the bike, but haven't tried shoehorning it in there yet. It looks like I'll need to remove the wheels and seat/seatpost at a minimum. Putting the bike in the back of my Escort Wagon was no problem. Tons of extra space.

    Overall, I'm impressed and hope to put a lot more miles on this bike.

    baker

  2. #2
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    Great news, but it's too bad that it was damaged. I think I would have sent it back, even though I would have had to wait for a new one. Things should arrive in good shape, and if they don't, they should send you a new one.

  3. #3
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    hang on with the sending back stuff,,, it only makes the folks rich which bended it the first place.
    If the box is really screwed up, than do not accept it... but if there is damage to the bike and only a little damaged box, it works to contact UPS first and than the shipper.... Usually the freight is insured and the shipper and UPS will work something out.

    Than ... its a good idea to bring the bike to a shop and let them do the first checkout. Also that entitles you to a lifetime warranty from Dahon, versus the 5 year warranty. The shop has the tools to bend the derrailleur hanger straight and align it perfectly ...

    If it is totally out of whack than Dahon CA will send you a new one, I am sure... but thats a 5 dlr shipment versus a 50 dlr back and forth ...

    Thor

    p.s. great that you like your new bike

  4. #4
    Senior Member bbaker22's Avatar
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    No sending it back or lbs trip for me. After riding and wrenching on my bikes for the past 16 years, I trust myself more than most mechanics. If that means forgoing a "lifetime" warranty, so be it. I borrowed my buddies Park DAG-1 tool and accurately straightened the hanger tonight.

    I tried stuffing the bike in my suitcase tonight. Managed it easily w/out the wheels and seat/seatpost. Need to try following the instructions here to get it all in:

    http://www.gaerlan.com/dahon/pack.htm

    baker

  5. #5
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    Sounds cool. I was so impressed with mine that I am in the process of hacking up my Speed P8. eventually it will have SRAM 3*9 rear end with drop bars and a 70mm stem to stretch out my riding position. I am hoping when all is said and done that this will replace my S&S coupled Bianchi travel bike. I just love the ability to get it in a standard suitcase rather than the big 'ol S&S case, but I'm not selling the Bianchi until the project is complete to my satisfaction. I will be posting an update when the bike is complete.

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